A reluctant fan pens an open letter to Taylor Swift
Dear Taylor Swift,
I remember the first time I listened to Blank Space. My friends and I were on a late night drive last year, and as soon as your song came on, they squealed in delight. They knew the words to every line, and even wound down the windows for a full-on, outdoor karaoke experience. Here was a bunch of 26-year olds belting out lines like "boys only want love when it's torture".
I was not amused. "Stellar songwriting," I remember muttering to myself.
It's been a year since Blank Space's release, which gave me more than enough time to have a change of heart. In a time when the coolest kids seemed to only listen to independent music (citing names of bands Jimmy Kimmel made up) and party at underground or pop-up clubs, you, Ms Swift, offer a refreshing alternative.
It was 1989 that truly moved me. While I bemoaned the fact that yet another mermaid-haired, country singer had sold out to the powers of pop, the album is a saccharine, provocative indulgence. You've introduced all the break-up letters to country music — adding synths, backing vocals, drums and bass — but at the heart of it, it's still Tay-Tay. You're still writing about the most pressing issues facing millenials to date — someone not texting you back — which makes even a mega pop star like you so accessible.
This May, I was among the Swifties who stayed glued to the screen as your music video for Bad Blood premiered. It's a clever work of art, to be honest, for nothing else connotes as much meaning as a squad of attractive, leather-clad It girls going all Karate Kid on corporate types and teddy bears.
For being someone who isn't afraid to be yourself: my (country) hat goes off to you.